If you haven’t traveled out of your home country before, or if you just are not familiar with how foreign exchange values work when it comes to money, then there are some things you need to consider in order to both fund a trip abroad and make sure that you know what you are actually spending when you get to a foreign country and start spending in a currency type that you are not familiar with.
- Not all money is the same. Just because a paper bill in another country looks similar in appearance to a dollar you would spend in the US, this does not mean that this new currency holds the same market value. There is a standard of market values that each country’s form of currency changes based on. For example, if you are from the US and are used to spending a dollar on a bar of chocolate, you may find that if you go to Europe, you will end up spending more than one euro (a unit of currency) on a bar of chocolate there. This is because, based on the market value, the U.S. dollar is valued at the equivalent of one and a fraction’s worth of euros.
- You should exchange your money before you do anything else. Getting a head start on surprises is important when traveling abroad. If you can exchange your money at the airport or train station upon arrival to another country, then you will be much better prepared for spending money in that country. You won’t want to be constantly wandering around in a foreign place, looking for or asking people to help you locate places where you can exchange your money. And in many cases, it may be hard to find a place that does that. You don’t want to get stuck in a situation where you simply don’t have the correct currency to pay for something that you actually need.
- You should probably make a plan of how much money you are willing to spend while abroad in another country. When you are in a new place, it can be easy to fall victim to the traps placed on tourists and outsiders that insist certain products and services are worth a monetary value that they actually are not worth. Make sure to plan ahead, decide how much money you have to spend on food and other necessities, and stick to that plan if you can. There is nothing worse than being a dupe in a place in which you don’t feel at home.